Will My First-Generation College Student be OK?

Dr. Arturo Madrid with Trinity University students

by Jorge Mora –

We always knew we wanted our son to attend college, but when the time came for him to make his decision, we had lots of questions. Would he receive the support he needed to thrive academically? Would he be able to make the transition to a different social setting?

One of the biggest challenges he faced being a first-generation student at Trinity University was definitely doing everything on his own. We worried whether Isaiah could make the transition from a high school environment to a rigorous college setting.

Our journey started one month before classes his first semester as he participated in the First-Generation, Under-represented Students summer bridge program. The program was designed to provide first-generation students a head start in college to ease the transition.

The program had a lasting effect on Isaiah. However, when he first began classes he doubted if he belonged at Trinity. Did Trinity make a mistake by accepting him? Should he have gone to another university?

Like many first generation families, we did not know there was help. Thankfully, his professor in the summer bridge program, Dr. Arturo Madrid, made it known that they were there to help students like my son when they needed it. Dr. Madrid was always available for assistance. Like many of the professors and staff at Trinity, he came to know my son personally. A distinct memory of mine is Isaiah coming home and telling us he met with Dr. Madrid that week during office hours for questions on an assignment. As they were walking Dr. Madrid encountered a colleague and introduced Isaiah as his friend. That day Isaiah found one of his many mentors on campus.
Trinity University student Isaiah Mora and family
Members of the Mora Family, from left, are Ainara, Elizabeth, Jorge, Eilidh, and Isaiah.
With the focus on adjusting to life away from the family and concentrating on grades, my son has also been able to have fun in college. As an active member of the Trinity University Latino Exchange, he has made a family away from home. It has given students like my son a new sense of pride in their cultural heritage, as well as their academic background. Needless to say, Isaiah made long lasting friendships that will go beyond his four years on campus.

Now entering his third year in college, with affirmation, I can say that Trinity was the best place for my son. I am also proud to say this past semester my son made the Dean’s List.

About Jorge

Originally from Laredo, Texas, Jorge Mora is a CNC engineer at Mission Metal Fabricators in San Antonio, where he lives with his wife Elizabeth Mora. They are parents to three children. Their eldest, Isaiah will be a junior at Trinity. His passions include spending time with his children, yard work, and storytelling.


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